How I Overcame My Fear of Public Speaking (and how you can, too)

Woman lying on sofa reading laptop

What Are Common Public Speaking Fears & Symptoms, Statistics, & Reasons

While everyone is different, here are some common fears of public speaking.

Common public speaking fears include:

  • Fear of failure or embarrassment
  • Fear of the unexpected or something going wrong during your speech
  • Fear of forgetting what you were talking about
  • Imposter syndrome, or a feeling of self-doubt and the fear that you are not as competent as you are perceived to be
  • Being judged harshly
  • Fear of being watched, being in the spotlight, and having all eyes on you

How to overcome fear of public speaking with hypnosis

What causes fear of public speaking? Possible reasons include:

  • Childhood trauma (This could be specifically related to public speaking, for example, a bad experience speaking in class or being bullied, or it could be something seemingly unrelated.)
  • Past experience as an adult (For example, a presentation gone wrong, or your mind going blank during a meeting at work.)
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of experience
  • Sharing new ideas or presenting in front of an audience that you aren’t comfortable or familiar with

Common symptoms of fear of public speaking include:

  • Pressure in chest and/or heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath and/or a quivering voice
  • Shaking hands and/or sweaty palms
  • Nausea
  • Mind going blank or racing thoughts
  • Trouble sleeping

Fear of Public Speaking Statistics

According to communications expert Nick Morgan in Forbes, 80% of people suffer from a fear of public speaking, with 10% of people experiencing extreme panic or terror. (He also points out that 10% of the population genuinely enjoy speaking in public!)

Interestingly, many celebrities and famous figures also share this fear, including Adele, Thomas Jefferson, Mahatma Gandhi, Julia Roberts, Abraham Lincoln, and Sir Richard Branson (quite  a diverse list).

woman presenting to a group of colleagues

Hypnosis For Fear of Public Speaking

How Hypnosis Works

Anyone who’s enjoyed watching a movie (vs. analytically thinking about the technology of how the movie is projected onto your television or movie screen), reached the zone state when running or working out, or lulled a child to sleep with a bedtime story, has used similar techniques to those used in Hypnosis.

Hypnosis is a state of focused awareness and a way to pay attention to your own sources of internal guidance and resources (which of course, could be extremely helpful when giving a work presentation).

You can discover more ways Hypnosis can help, what to expect, how to maximize its positive effects, and misconceptions about Hypnosis.

Can Hypnosis Cure Fear of Public Speaking?

Yes, Hypnosis for fear of public speaking is definitely worth exploring to see if you personally find it helpful so you can overcome this once and for all.

Benefits include:

  • Feeling more confident and self-assured.
  • Calming the mind so you can think clearly and speak articulately.
  • Shifting from being hyperaware of yourself to focusing on your audience, topic, and how the information you’re providing can help them.
  • Accessing your intuition and inner resources. (Especially helpful during the Question & Answer portion of a presentation.)
  • Feeling more peaceful and relaxed in general, as well as a powerful way to reset and release stress.
  • Alleviating physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, pressure in the chest, or shakiness in the voice or hands.

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Bonus: Taking It To The Next Level

Once you’ve overcome your fear of public speaking, Hypnosis can help you with peak performance in other areas of your life. Many professional athletes use Hypnosis for this purpose. Why not take it to the next level at work?

woman presenting with flipchart

Speak Naturally: The Side-Effect-Free Solution

Taking the stage—whether it’s a big presentation, a small team gathering, or a one-on-one with your boss—needn’t compromise your well-being. While medications may offer quick fixes, they often come with downsides.

Hypnosis nurtures your innate strengths, allowing you to shine authentically and address the root cause of your fears. You’ll also have self-hypnosis tools you can use beyond the podium.

Benefits include:

  • Retrain your nervous system without relying on heavy medication, avoiding long-term side effects
  • Be in control without becoming dependent on external aids
  • Resolve past negative experiences with public speaking to fuel your future success
  • Feel fully present, creating an authentic connection with your audience
  • Transform tunnel vision into an expansive coaching state where you intuitively know the answers
  • Slow your heartbeat and steady your hands and voice naturally so that you can convey your message calmly and effectively

What Should I Expect

Your Hypnosis sessions will be personalized just for you. Several clients might have the same exact issue, such as public speaking, yet each person will have different ways of doing and experiencing the problem and will discover different resources to help them overcome this.

Self-Hypnosis Techniques are tailored to your learning style, preferences, and individual needs, so you can take control and feel empowered to do and be your best.

Bonus: Pre-Performance Protocol

Many people like to take the Self-Hypnosis tools and techniques and create a “pre-performance protocol” to help alleviate anxiety and get in the right mindset as a sort of “warm-up” before a talk or presentation. There are so many ways you can do this.

woman smiling after successful work presentation

How Many Sessions Does It Take

While everyone changes differently (which is an interesting thing to think about), 3-6 sessions is average (with some people changing faster and others needing a little more time). As with anything, chronic issues tend to take longer to balance than acute issues.

Hypnosis doesn’t wear off but secondary gain can be a factor. Occasionally, clients will come back after they’ve overcome fear of public speaking and book a refresher session or sessions to reinforce and integrate the changes they’ve made, or to address new triggers that may have arisen related to the original issue.

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First-Hand Accounts of Hypnosis for Public Speaking

woman used hypnosis for public speaking fear

Here are a few examples from clients:

  • An aspiring leader preparing for a pivotal presentation at a major news network
  • An entrepreneur tasked with delivering a memorable wedding toast
  • A high-achieving woman navigating challenging work negotiations

Each found Hypnosis to be a powerful tool to transform their fear of public speaking.


Big Presentation at Work

I wanted to let you know that my big presentation went incredibly well. More importantly, I was able to manage my anxiety throughout the day, leading up to the moment I needed to present.

In particular, you asked for my subconscious mind to choose a specific way to make me successful in the situation. What came to mind was to “choose confidence,” regardless of how I was feeling in advance of the meeting. This became a bit of a mantra for me throughout the day–and is something I suspect will stick with me for some time.

I also had fun reminding myself to leave my inner critic tucked into bed at home. The tools from our sessions helped me ride along with any anxiety, accept it, and keep it at a manageable level. Thank you. –J.L.

Wedding Speech

Wanted to let you know my wedding weekend went splendidly!  With your help, I was able to truly savor and enjoy every moment with minimal anxiety or worry.  

When I had to speak, everything flowed effortlessly and naturally.  A couple people came up afterwards and told me I sounded like a politician and absolutely nailed the speech.  Anyway, I don’t mean to boast or anything, just wanted to let you know your work was so meaningful to me! –R.R.

Confidence With Work Negotiations

I just wanted to let you know that this week I went into my agency to speak with them, and it was easier than ever! I felt confident and relaxed without having to try too hard! I’ve been practicing my self-hypnosis techniques. I really feel that our sessions helped me. —T.E.

My Personal Experience with Hypnosis

Diving back into my personal story with public speaking…

Several years ago, I was given an award for my book of poems.

The twist?

I had to read from my work at the awards ceremony.

It should have been exciting, right?

But every time it crossed my mind, my stomach filled with dread. Maybe you’ve felt something similar?

This time around, I had a secret weapon: I was a Hypnotist. I’d been using it for years helping hundreds of clients, now was the time to practice what I preach.

One technique, in particular, became my go-to: EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique or Tapping). It’s actually one of my all-time favorites to share with clients.

Every time I thought about the upcoming reading and felt that deep dread in the pit of my stomach, I did a round or two of EFT.

I tapped on everything I was worried about: fear of failure, of being judged, of not being good enough, of freezing up, of stumbling over my words…

podium for public presentation

Finally, it was the night of the ceremony and it was my turn. I approached the podium, adjusted the microphone, and looked at the audience.

Then the weirdest thing happened.

Instead of deep dread, I found myself savoring the moment.

Spotting familiar faces, including a well-known poet, a favorite professor, some close friends, I felt incredibly grateful for this opportunity to read my poems and share my work.

It was bizarre–I felt like I wasn’t in the right body, I must be someone else, as this was such an unusual feeling!

I’ve heard from numerous clients over the years about this kind of dramatic switch after using Hypnosis.

That night, rather than racing through the reading, I read my poems in an expressive and animated way.

I felt like I was really able to give it my all, and that I did my best.

In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would actually enjoy the reading, but here I was, living it.

man with microphone and screen giving a presentation

A Self-Hypnosis Technique For Fear of Public Speaking

Here’s more about the EFT technique I mentioned:

EFT involves tapping on powerful acupressure points while repeating a phrase about what you want to clear or release. It’s based on the premise that every emotional upset causes an imbalance in the body. EFT is able to quickly reduce the emotional charge and reset the nervous system, allowing the body to rebalance and promote healing.

Now this is something you can do on your own (EFT is easy to learn), though sometimes people prefer to learn EFT as one of the Self-Hypnosis techniques during their sessions.

In this way, you can work though the specific concerns and things that trigger you and then clear them with the support of a Hypnotist. Additionally, you’ll learn other Self-Hypnosis techniques you can use to become a successful and eloquent public speaker.

Learn more about what EFT is and how it works, tips to maximize its effectiveness, and additional books and resources.

Beyond Public Speaking: Holistic Wellness for Work Challenges

woman using holistic hypnosis reiki self healing tools to succeed in businessFeeling the weight of workplace pressures beyond presentations? Public speaking is just one piece of the puzzle.

Having supported numerous high-powered professionals over the years, I’ve seen firsthand how intertwined public speaking fears are with daily workplace stress.

This led me to craft a new, specialized program: the Peak Potential Pathway.

Designed specifically for aspiring leaders, I’ll give you tools that not only bolster your voice but also alleviate anxiety, overwhelm, and self-doubt so that you can navigate your work’s twists and turns with resilience and calm confidence.

Want an exclusive first look? Join the waitlist.

In need of personalized, one-on-one support now? Discover how one-on-one sessions and other offerings can target and transform what’s been holding you back, empowering you to embrace your unique gifts & abilities so that you can shine in your career.

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Additional Support & Resources for Overcoming Glossophobia

I think the most important takeaway is that the fear of public speaking is something you can address and successfully overcome.

Hypnosis can help you change your mind for the better, readjust your focus so you can focus on everything that’s not the problem, and perhaps even enjoy sharing what you know with others so they can benefit from your knowledge. Here’s to your success!

Need support? Schedule a virtual Hypnosis session no matter where you live in the world.

Or join a virtual Soul Healing Event or Soul Healing Recordings around the most popular themes and client requests.

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Burned out by an all-consuming job, Deborah Flanagan found balance and peace through the healing arts — and now she's helping others do the same.

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